Read: Psalm 72:1 – 2; 1 Kings 3:6 – 9, 11:1 – 13
Psalm 72 is entitled in Hebrew “A Psalm of Solomon,” referring not to the author of the psalm (v. 20 identifies the psalm as a prayer of David), but to its subject. Solomon, whose name means “peaceable” and whose reign was characterized by wisdom, peace, justice, and prosperity, is a type or symbol of Christ. The idealized reign envisioned by David in this prayer will be realized in the millennial reign of the Messiah.
Think About It: Why did David ask for “judgment” for himself, and “righteousness” for Solomon? To what extent was David’s vision fulfilled for Solomon? How and why did Solomon fall short of the ideal?
Prayer: That I might not fall short of the reality that is mine in Christ.
Read: Psalm 72:3 – 4; Micah 4:3; Zechariah 9:10
David’s prayer for Solomon gives us a picture of the Messiah’s reign, and incidentally what God expects government to be like. The “mountains and hills” of Ps. 72:3 are thought by some commentators to refer to the higher and lower courts of justice. The justice system of the ideal government produces peace and righteousness, from top to bottom.
Think About It: What are the results of a perfectly functioning system of justice for the following groups of people according to Psalm 72:3 – 4: the afflicted, needy children, oppressors. How does our justice system measure up to God’s standard?
Prayer: For justice and peace in our country; for our court system to live up to God’s standards.
Read: Psalm 72:5 – 7; Psalm 2
In the ideal kingdom the fear of God will endure to all generations. The ruler of that kingdom will be like a refreshing rain for his people; he will encourage righteousness to flourish and peace to abound to the end of the age.
Think About It: What makes a ruler a refreshment to his people? How can righteousness be encouraged by those in authority? How does our government try to refresh us and encourage righteousness?
Prayer: For our leaders to have wisdom to grant us refreshment and to know how to encourage righteousness to flourish.
Read: Psalm 72:8 – 11; 2 Chronicles 9:20 – 24
In the ideal kingdom every knee shall bow to the authority of the king. His enemies will lick the dust; gifts will be showered upon him, and all the nations will serve him.
Think About It: To what extent was this ideal picture fulfilled for Solomon? How does it apply to the coming reign of Christ?
Prayer: Personal submission to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Read: Psalm 72:12 – 15; Luke 4:14 – 21
David returns to the characteristics of the rule of the ideal king in Psalm 72:12 – 15. Under his reign the needy will find deliverance, because the king will show compassion to them. The needy will be saved from oppression and violence. Consequently, people will pray for him and continually bless him.
Think About It: Which economic class is most often victimized by oppression and violence? How has Jesus already begun to fulfill this aspect of Psalm 72? Do I have compassion for the poor and oppressed?
Prayer: For justice and deliverance for the poor and oppressed.
Read: Psalm 72:16 – 17; Isaiah 9:6 – 7
The reign of the ideal king will be a time of such great prosperity that grain will grow even on the tops of the mountains. During that reign the glory of the king’s name will increase more and more, and everyone will use his name as a blessing.
Think About It: To what extent was this portion of David’s prayer fulfilled in Solomon’s reign? How is it fulfilled by Jesus? What does it mean for a name to increase?
Prayer: Lord, show me how to bless Your name, and strengthen me to glorify Your name more and more.
Read: Psalm 72:18 – 20; Romans 11:33 – 26
The blessed reign of the ideal king has one great overarching purpose. Neither the king’s righteous reign, nor the benefits which that reign brings to the people, are ends in themselves.
Think About It: What is the overarching purpose of the reign of the ideal king? Is my life aiming toward that same purpose?
Prayer: That in everything, God is glorified.